Courts have emerged as a crucial battleground in efforts to regulate climate change. Over the past several years, tribunals at every level of government around the world have seen claims regarding greenhouse gas emissions and impacts. These cases rely on diverse legal theories, but all focus on government regulation of climate change or the actions of major corporate emitters. This book explores climate actions in state and national courts, as well as international tribunals, in order to explain their regulatory significance. It demonstrates the role that these cases play in broader debates over climate policy and argues that they serve as an important force in pressuring governments and emitters to address this crucial problem. As law firms and public interest organizations increasingly develop climate practice areas, the book serves as a crucial resource for practitioners, policymakers, and academics.
This examination of the role of litigation in addressing the problem of climate change focuses not only on how the massive and growing number of lawsuits influences regulation directly, but also on how the lawsuits shape corporate behaviour and public opinion. It provides readers with an understanding of how these lawsuits have shaped approaches to mitigation and adaptation, and have been used to try to force and to block regulation. There is a particular emphasis on lawsuits in the United States and Australia, the two jurisdictions which have had the most climate change litigation in the world, and the lessons provide broader insights into the role of courts in addressing climate change.
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